Instruments of Dance, The Australian Ballet, Sydney Opera House, November 10, 2022

Australian audiences know Wayne McGregor from Dyad 1929, made in 2009 as part of The Australian Ballet’s Ballets Russes celebration; Chroma, choreographed in 2006 and brought into the repertoire in 2014; and Infra, staged by TAB in 2017 but dating from 2008. Obsidian Tear, the opening work in the Instruments of Dancetriple bill, is not that Wayne McGregor. Absent is…

Three ballet companies, three distinctive looks in 2023

Australia’s three leading classical companies have released their 2023 programs, each with a distinctive flavour. The Australian Ballet has a deeply glamorous 60thanniversary season, West Australian Ballet’s line-up gratifyingly features a strong list of female choreographers and at Queensland Ballet the premiere of Cathy Marston’s My Brilliant Career will make Brisbane a must in June. Another must…

Manon, Queensland Ballet, QPAC, September 28 and 29, 2022

Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon premiered in 1974, not quite a decade after his Romeo and Juliet, and in some ways is the earlier ballet’s dark twin. Each has as its heart young lovers in a hostile environment whose instant attraction to one another ends in tragedy; each has hugely coveted leading roles of the kind that make reputations.  Queensland…

Savage, Australian Dance Theatre, September 22, 2022

Savage’s subtitle is The Violence of Forgetting, letter and words separated from their neighbours by full stops and slashes. Australian Dance Theatre adds even more emphasis with attention-grabbing capitals. T.H.E./V.I.O.L.E.N.C.E./O.F./F.O.R.G.E.T.T.I.N.G. Usually one ignores typography. Fiddling around with normal usage can look at worst pretentious and at best irrelevant. Here, though, you can practically hear howls of…

INDance, independent dance at Sydney Dance Company

Neilson Studio, Sydney Dance Company, August 19, 2022 INDance is a new Sydney Dance Company initiative, one in which it shares space and resources with independent dance artists. It’s good for everyone. The SDC audience is encouraged to dip toes into work that might otherwise not be on the radar and the country’s biggest contemporary…

SandSong, Bangarra Dance Theatre

Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, June 11, 2021 Warning: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains the name of someone who has passed. The family of Ningali Lawford-Wolf has given the media permission to use her name.  Bangarra’s last new work before SandSong was performed in 2019 and celebrated Bangarra’s 30th anniversary. It was…

The Sleeping Beauty, Queensland Ballet

QPAC, Brisbane, June 4, 2021 When Queensland Ballet performed The Sleeping Beauty in 2015, artistic director Li Cunxin cast international superstar Alina Cojocaru as first-night Aurora. She was wonderful of course but it was a sign Li was still in development mode at the company he took over in 2013. A glance at the 2015 program reveals…

THREE, Australasian Dance Collective, Brisbane

Playhouse Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, May 26, 2021 Amy Hollingsworth’s relief was palpable and profound. THREE had finally arrived. It was 14 months late, but it was here. The triple bill of two new works and an important Australian premiere was to have introduced Hollingsworth’s Australasian Dance Collective to the Brisbane public last year on April…